I Hate Yoga: And Why You'll Hate to Love it Too Paperback – Nov 11 2014
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About the Author
Paul McQuillan is the owner and director of BeHot Yoga Toronto, a thriving yoga studio in downtown Toronto. A yoga teacher for nine years and a professional singer and actor for thirty, Paul has performed on stages in over sixty cities across North America, including on Broadway, and appeared in the documentary Planet Yoga. His controversial but popular article in Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, is the inspiration for I Hate Yoga.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
“I love you and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.”
I hate yoga.
I really do. I don’t state this for effect.
Being grateful for something that has given me healing, prosperity, purpose, and meaningful relationships would be the evolved disclosure here.
But it isn’t. Because I hate it.
I’m too alarmingly focused on what contemporary Western society has done to yoga to find solace or understanding in the word anymore. Like many things in the Western world, yoga has been bastardized beyond recognition, to the point where saying it’s an authentic form of healing would be a great disservice to the sacred origin of the word. But after all, going to McDonald’s for a salad is like going to a hooker for a hug.
North America is the hooker. Yoga is the hug. Just clarifying.
So few people in North America, especially teachers of yoga and supposed “gurus,” actually know what yoga really is.
I certainly don’t, and I’ve been teaching it for nine years, but I know this: I hate it. I have to. It’s the only way to love it again.
The multiplying spawn of self-righteous yoga “knowers” must be obliterated. A yoga war must ensue, and I will begin by turning the gun on myself.
Being a card-carrying member, I know what it will take to destroy such a breed. An exorcism must be performed―one that holds me and all “yoga experts” out there accountable for what we’re doing.
If it seems like I’m tossing blame by starting the healing with yoga-hate, let me explain my theory for therapy.
Sometimes it’s necessary to hate something in order to revive its credibility and actually benefit from it. It’s not unlike the feelings many of us have experienced at the end of a nasty relationship. We hate that person―for a while, anyway. Then, after a varying amount of time passes, that feeling dissipates, the vitriol subsides, the whole experience just becomes information, and we can look at it all with some insight and clarity.
Then, if the stars align, as they should, we learn.
Only then can we proceed responsibly and progressively with regards to the subject, person, or situation that has been a tainted aspect of our history.
It’s important to understand something: The first half of this book isn’t about waxing poetic over the merits of yoga; pretentiousness cannot be part of the blueprint here.
It’s about dismantling the pseudo-merits so that that we can uncover what’s truly useful and start fresh.
Don’t worry. We’ll get the hate out of the way quickly enough, but it’s an integral part of the path.
In the teachings of Buddhism, one is told, “If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha.” In other words, we are always on a journey with no destination. If we ever feel like we’ve arrived, we didn’t really get the point. To name it is to not really know it.
Let’s kill yoga and all of the bullshit that has manifested around it. It’s time to let it die in our blood-soaked hands on our bullet-ridden yoga mats.
We’re going to do this together because here’s another admission: This book isn’t about me. It’s about you―and what you can get from this increasingly tarnished word, “yoga,” by simply stripping it of all its labels and ludicrous expectations.
And then, by practicing it.
I think I can help. As a matter of fact, I know I can.
Once we have cathartically performed our ugly yoga striptease and thrown down each garment of bogus credibility and confusion, we will then focus on watching the Yoga-Phoenix rise from the ashes.
We’ll remove the bewildering fear factor surrounding yoga and explore the truth behind the practice, revealing it to be a great healer. While on this journey, we will discover that yoga is wonderfully accessible to all of us.
This will take place only after the affectations surrounding yoga have been laid bare and exposed as nothing more than a societal red herring, distracting us from the beauty of a profoundly beneficial art form.
I want you to be the beneficiary.
Hang on, though. This first part could get a little ugly.
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Top Customer Reviews
Back to the book - Paul was one of my Bikram teachers, and his personality, drive and humour made the classes such fun, as well as hard work. All that comes out in this book, particularly his punchy humour. It's a quick easy read, very fast paced and extremely well written. I've been on a Yoga hiatus for 18 mths, but will be going back because of this book.
Shauna Burke, PhD
Overall, it was a quick easy, pleasant read... with small shots of humour and a few Yoga truths! Maybe I was just expecting too much, I think I was expecting a bit more satire and a few epiphonies as well.
My favourite quote is when he goes at a tree-hugging yoga teacher who clearly isn't following the path she's pitching: "...I just listened to a yoga teacher go on annoyingly about how important to her it was that her yoga studio go paperless, not realizing that I just watched her pull into her parking spot in a gas-guzzling truck so big it could only be used to carry the weight of her hypocrisy." Hysterical.
From yoga’s fall from grace to its jubilant comeback, McQuillan remains steadfast in his crusade to debunk the ugly underbelly of “posturing” that has cast a dark shadow over yoga while reclaiming its virtue.
With all the twists and turns, this book will leave you feeling like you just practiced yoga—sans the pontificating.
Brace yourself. It’s going to be one hell of a ride.
Most recent customer reviews
I couldn't really resonate with Paul's story. I don't believe you have to hate something to love it. It's like suffering so you can experience joy - I don't buy it. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Ashley
A great read!! Paul McQuillan writes beautifully, and hilariously!Published 14 months ago by J. Sean Elliott
This is a very quirky and inspiring book that has really appealed to me as I have an interest in Yoga. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jill W.
I really liked this book. The author does a stand up job of lovingly eviscerating, and then slowly reassembling, a practice shared by a whole bunch o' people. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Peter Johnston
I haven't read too many books about yoga (ok this is the only one!) but I found it very educational, inspirational and entertaining! Read morePublished 20 months ago by Asheef Lalani
Like books that are funny, intelligent, thought-provoking and one heck of a good read? BUY "I HATE YOGA"! Read morePublished 20 months ago by Kate Hewlett